(a) In this section:
(1) “Child” means a person younger than 17 years of age.
(2) “Readily dischargeable firearm” means a firearm that is loaded with ammunition, whether or not a round is in the chamber.
(3) “Secure” means to take steps that a reasonable person would take to prevent the access to a readily dischargeable firearm by a child, including but not limited to placing a firearm in a locked container or temporarily rendering the firearm inoperable by a trigger lock or other means.
(b) A person commits an offense if a child gains access to a readily dischargeable firearm and the person with criminal negligence:
(1) failed to secure the firearm; or
(2) left the firearm in a place to which the person knew or should have known the child would gain access.
Terms Used In Texas Penal Code 46.13
- Actor: means a person whose criminal responsibility is in issue in a criminal action. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Another: means a person other than the actor. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
- Bodily injury: means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Death: includes , for an individual who is an unborn child, the failure to be born alive. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Misdemeanor: means an offense so designated by law or punishable by fine, by confinement in jail, or by both fine and confinement in jail. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Peace officer: means a person elected, employed, or appointed as a peace officer under Article Texas Penal Code 1.07
- Property: means real and personal property. See Texas Government Code 311.005
- Unlawful: means criminal or tortious or both and includes what would be criminal or tortious but for a defense not amounting to justification or privilege. See Texas Penal Code 1.07
(c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the child’s access to the firearm:
(1) was supervised by a person older than 18 years of age and was for hunting, sporting, or other lawful purposes;
(2) consisted of lawful defense by the child of people or property;
(3) was gained by entering property in violation of this code; or
(4) occurred during a time when the actor was engaged in an agricultural enterprise.
(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
(e) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor if the child discharges the firearm and causes death or serious bodily injury to himself or another person.
(f) A peace officer or other person may not arrest the actor before the seventh day after the date on which the offense is committed if:
(1) the actor is a member of the family, as defined by Section 71.003, Family Code, of the child who discharged the firearm; and
(2) the child in discharging the firearm caused the death of or serious injury to the child.
(g) A dealer of firearms shall post in a conspicuous position on the premises where the dealer conducts business a sign that contains the following warning in block letters not less than one inch in height:
“IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE, TRANSPORT, OR ABANDON AN UNSECURED FIREARM IN A PLACE WHERE CHILDREN ARE LIKELY TO BE AND CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO THE FIREARM.”